My First Receiver

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KF4SCI, Apr 7, 2017.

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  1. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    WOW that was a great job. You should have bought it from him and then restored it, that is the nicest one I have seen since the 60's.
  2. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first real receiver was a National NC-173. Believe it or not I actually worked a lot of 40 and 15 meter DX on that old boat anchor.

    NC-173 QRZ format.jpg
    KB4QAA likes this.
  3. N6RGR

    N6RGR Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first radio was given to me Christmas of 1969. It was a Unelco all band superhet sold out of the Sears Christmas Wishbook. It used coils and covered most of the Amateur bands and local AM stations. I loved listening to VOA, BBC, Radio Moscow, German stations, and South African stations all with a random length wire antenna out my bedroom window. The following year I build a Graymark 511 regenerative receiver, even with my sloppy soldering with a 25-watt Radio Shack iron I managed to get it to work. It was great fun - from that point on I wanted to build radio stuff.

    Roger N6RGR
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first HF receiver was a homebrew 2 tube regenerative set, built from junk parts, based on the 6SN7 regen in the 1949 ARRL Handbook. It worked - and opened a new world.

    I later got a Heathkit AR-2 with QF-1 Q multiplier. It was better in some ways and worse in others. Eventually I added a Gonset Super Six converter to it, using the AR-2 as an IF system.

    Then I discovered Command Sets. A BC-454 was SO much better than any of the above, it wasn't even funny. And it cost less!

    Along the way I got an SX-99. Nice rx for what it was.....but then I discovered the Ultimate Simple BA Receiver, and sold it.

    The Ultimate Simple BA Receiver is a BC-453 receiver (tuning range 190-550 kc.) preceded by a crystal-controlled converter. Up to about 10 MHz, you couldn't get a better simple receiver for the money. BC-453s were all over the place in surplus, and cheap. The converter could be built from old AM BC receiver parts. The crystals for the converter were outside the ham bands and could be had for low low prices (the prized ones were 4050 and 755o kc., for 80 and 40 CW.)

    It's a shame so many beginners struggled with poor receivers back-in-the-day, when the Ultimate Simple BA Receiver (aka Southgate Type 3) was so much better.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why do you say "believe it or not"?

    The NC-173 was a pretty good rx for its time and price. It was the receiver used on the Kon-Tiki expedition, and did the job pretty well. I'd rate it above the Hallicrafters SX-99 I had earlier.
  6. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know you won't like this....but that sounded like a Burt comment? I had to look to see if it was Burt or not.

    Now that I'm here my first radio was an HW-16....CW only. Didn't really listen to AM or SSB until a couple of years later on my TenTec Triton IV.
    KA4DPO likes this.
  7. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's true and I loved that old rig, But a lot of newcomers to the hobby are not aware of much of the older equipment and how well it performed if you knew how to run it. They are used to automation in every aspect of the hobby, including digital frequency readout and DSP. I was just pointing out that DX can be worked on old equipment.
    And just for the record Jim, my transmitter was a Johnson Adventurer and I bet they would be surprised to know how much DX was logged with a crystal controlled 35 watt transmitter.

    And WD0BCT is right, that did sound like something Burt would say.
  8. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    SX99 was first. Logged all states and after getting my Novice, worked about 65 DX entities. Then my folks gave me an SX111. What a difference!
  9. N2UGB

    N2UGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    S-38C Hallicrafters in 1957. Trimm headset. Shared bedroom with kid brother. Phones allowed him to sleep when I slipped out of bed at midnight to SWL.
  10. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page


    Both much like the ones in grandfather's basement when I was ?
    His more sophisticated, wound on phenolic, tap switched, in a wood box is in my possession.
    I'm rebuilding his TnT as authentic as possible. If I can't find 21's then 45's .
    Instead of winding my own I'll probably cheat a bit on the P/S.
    Then there is the little bit about getting my "ear" back.
    I don't have to be concerned about getting a rhythm back as I always sent unintelligible.
    Still this era fascinates me. I have 2 regen and several 5 and 7 tube 'hets.
    Even when I can look up a web sdr on another continent and see a wisp of my signal arrive these archaic tools still hold the same grip on my imagination as they did then.
    WN1MB and KB4QAA like this.

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